Magic Number


Easier Bracketing

6 painless ways to type parentheses.

You can use square brackets

Entering parentheses is a pain — it involves reaching out for the shift key.

Thankfully, if your keyboard has   [   and  ]  ,  you can use them instead.

Let Magic Number complete for you

Here is an expression with incomplete brackets.

Expression Bracket Incomplete

When you press return, Magic Number will automatically complete it
with closing brackets.

Expression Bracket Completed

Automatically insert closing bracket

With this option, every time you insert an open bracket, Magic Number will automatically insert the closing part.

Click and hold ( button to reveal the option:

Bracket L Button Bracket L Menu

See it in action:

Auto insert closing bracket

(You can also find this option under menu: Insert ▸ Bracket ▸ Options)

The right-bracket technique

Bracket R Button Bracket R Menu

Here is a typical scenario.

You have entered

User entered 1 + 2 + 3

But actually you want

User wants (1 + 2 + 3)

Just press )

User gets (1 + 2 + 3)

Notice ‘ ( ’ is automatically inserted at the beginning.

This means for ‘(1 + 2) / 3’, you can lazily type ‘1 + 2 ) / 3’.

Select and inspect bracket

Similar to double-clicking to select a word in text, you can select a group
of elements in an expression.

The most obvious kind of group is the bracket (parenthesis).
It literally groups elements together.

Bracket Is A Group

To select it as a group, double-click either (  or  ).

Bracket Selected As A Group

You can also press ⌘G.

Select Group Shortcut

What can you do with a selection?

  • You can delete it as a whole.
  • You can replace it with a new value.
  • More interestingly, you can inspect it.


You can see the value of your selection.

Shortcut: ⌘I

Inspect (3 × 4)

Of course you can inspect other types of elements.

To learn more about select and inspect, click here.

Bracketing selection

Whether you have a number or a group selected, you can bracket it.

Shortcut:  ⌘ ]  or  ⌘ )
(Whatever is easier)

Bracketing Right Biased

Notice the cursor ( Caret ) is at the right of the bracket.
This makes it handy to insert more at the right, e.g.
( 82 + 152 ) / 2

What if you want to make it  √ ( 82 + 152 ), i.e. you want to insert at the left.
As you might have guessed, there is a left-biased shortcut.

Bracketing Left Biased

The finer detail

Whether you use the left or right-biased shortcut, the cursor is always outside the bracket. This makes sense because you want to do something to the group, such as dividing by 2 or taking the square root.

When your selection is just a number, the cursor will be inside. The top reason for bracketing a number is to combine it with other element to form a group. Here is an example.